Washington Wizards Could Have Future Star In Kelly Oubre Jr.

There hasn’t been much to be optimistic about for Washington Wizards fans this season. Even though John Wall has bounced back from his rough start and has went on to have arguably the best season of his career, the Wizards have been plagued with injuries and the wins aren’t coming.

Bradley Beal, Nene, Kris Humphries, Drew Gooden, Martell Webster and Alan Anderson have all missed an extended amount of time. Randy Wittman has been forced to put together strange lineups, often using Jared Dudley at the center position along side four guards. 

Washington is currently four games below .500 in a much improved Eastern Conference. For them to climb out of the hole and make the NBA Playoffs, they’re going to need to get healthy soon.

But, with that said, not all has been lost in the misery of losing.

On Wednesday night against the San Antonio Spurs, the Washington Wizards failed to keep the game competitive after the first half and suffered another blowout loss to the perennial contenders.

However, given the injuries and the lack of talent on hand, Wittman gave 19-year-old rookie Kelly Oubre Jr. a chance to play against an elite team.

Over the past several games, Wittman has started Garrett Temple at shooting guard and the results haven’t been pretty. Gary Neal has done a solid job at scoring the ball off the bench but he’s left a lot to be desired on the defensive end of the floor.

Washington will have trouble winning games with either Temple or Neal at the guard spots. Wittman allowed the rookie to play against Kawhi Leonard, who’s arguably the best defender in the NBA, and he surprisingly played well.

Oubre was aggressive from the get-go as he drove to the basket over Boban Marjanovic, a 8-foot-5 super villain, and got to the free throw line. He didn’t shy away from contact nor the pressure and constantly attacked. Unlike Otto Porter, who often struggles to stay aggressive, Oubre looks for his shot and isn’t afraid of contact inside.

Oubre finished with a career-high 18 points off the bench, knocked down several shots from deep and even finished a SportsCenter worthy jam inside.



Ernie Grunfeld traded up for Kelly Oubre after he slipped past the lottery for a reason. Oubre has all the tools to become a star at the next level — it’s just a matter of continued improvement. Even though we’re merely 24 games into the season, Oubre has already shown improvement in his game. His jump shot looks a lot smoother than it did months ago, he’s doing a better job of controlling the ball off the dribble, and he’s pressuring defenders without committing unnecessary fouls.

For someone who played just one year of college basketball, Oubre is already progressing a lot faster than most thought he would. We expected the likes of Porter, Anderson and Webster to be ahead of Oubre in the rotation, but two of those players have yet to suit up for the Washington Wizards this season (and Webster has since been waived).

Oubre has been thrust into a situation where he needs to play. Temple isn’t a better player than Oubre at this point. He’s going to make rookie mistakes, but the only way to learn is to play through it. His confidence has continued to grow and his numbers will too. After all, he’s playing with one of the best facilitating guards in the NBA.


By: Ben Mehic, Fansided.com

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